Nichelle Nichols, the actress who brought Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek to life, has been diagnosed with dementia, according to conservatorship documents obtained by TMZ. She is 85 years old.
TMZ says that Dr. Meena Makhijani, a specialist in osteopathic medicine, has been treating Nichols for the last two to three years.
Makhijani gives details of the severity of the disease by rating various cognitive functions saying Nichols has major impairment of her short-term memory and moderate impairment of understanding abstract concepts, sense of time, place and immediate recall.
On the bright side, the doctor says there’s no apparent impairment for things like long-term memory, orientation of her body, comprehension, verbal communication, concentration, recognition of familiar people, as well as ability to reason logically and plan actions.
Just last month, Nichols appeared at Comic-Con to discuss her role on Star Trek, which ran from 1966 to 1969 on television and continued into multiple films, and how Martin Luther King Jr. inspired her to keep playing Uhura.
“I was going to leave the show to go to Broadway because I’m a singer, dancer, and actor, and I had an offer,” she said. “I was about to go when Dr. King said to me, ‘You can’t.’”